Hagey St. Mary's crash factual

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief2.aspx?ev_id=20131130X23954&ntsbno=ANC14MA008&akey=1

I'll leave to others who know more about Hageland to comment on any culture stuff but two things stood out to me.
First, how a simple mistake like forgetting to swap over to CTAF for keying the PCL was such an important hole in the Swiss cheese. Since the planes lights were visible from the ground it's likely that had the lights been on he would have seen the airport.
Second, how yet again a perfectly functional but disabled TAWS system may have been another hole in the Swiss cheese.
 

tcco94

Professional GTA V Pilot
I know it's only a 208, but does Hageland have FOs? Thanks for the share. Single pilot, night, IMC after a start time of 0800 sounds tough.

Most alarming to me was forgetting the radios as well. :(
 

mshunter

Well-Known Member
I know it's only a 208, but does Hageland have FOs? Thanks for the share. Single pilot, night, IMC after a start time of 0800 sounds tough.

Most alarming to me was forgetting the radios as well. :(
Task saturation plus fatigue. You don't think you are there, until you're there.
 
I started typing a few things and ended up deleting it all. First, I'll preface this with I was not around during this wreck, so I don't know what the culture was like. However, with our current Ops Control there is no pushing people into wx or conditions they aren't comfortable with. Our dispatch authority has been taken from the stations and centralized in PAAQ. Second, why did ATC give a SVFR clearance with a 300' ceiling? Just like anywhere else in Alaska, St Mary's seems to have its own micro climate. I've been cleared for an approach into KSM with good IFR and by the time we were half way to the FAF the wx was at mins and at the MAP all I could see was the lighting and at 100' saw the runway. The only wx was a layer of ground fog right over KSM. I don't know if that situation applies to this crash, especially since he could have easily and legally gotten an approach clearance, or at the very least activated the approach on the GPS (not that I approve of this) and shot it anyways. This is a good reminder for me to slow my roll, if I don't I tend to forget things. Experience can be a false sense of security too. No sense hurrying to your death. I'm sure guys with more Western Ak experience will chime in, remember to stay sharp out there!
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ASpilot2be

Qbicle seat warmer
I started typing a few things and ended up deleting it all. First, I'll preface this with I was not around during this wreck, so I don't know what the culture was like. However, with our current Ops Control there is no pushing people into wx or conditions they aren't comfortable with. Our dispatch authority has been taken from the stations and centralized in PAAQ. Second, why did ATC give a SVFR clearance with a 300' ceiling? Just like anywhere else in Alaska, St Mary's seems to have its own micro climate. I've been cleared for an approach into KSM with good IFR and by the time we were half way to the FAF the wx was at mins and at the MAP all I could see was the lighting and at 100' saw the runway. The only wx was a layer of ground fog right over KSM. I don't know if that situation applies to this crash, especially since he could have easily and legally gotten an approach clearance, or at the very least activated the approach on the GPS (not that I approve of this) and shot it anyways. This is a good reminder for me to slow my roll, if I don't I tend to forget things. Experience can be a false sense of security too. No sense hurrying to your death. I'm sure guys with more Western Ak experience will chime in, remember to stay sharp out there!
View attachment 34430
300 over is ksm is 600 over everywhere else, as the airport sits so high.

I have done SVFR into ksm, but I will only do it from one direction. Honestly I think this crash did more good for the safety culture in Western Alaska than one could imagine.
 
300 over is ksm is 600 over everywhere else, as the airport sits so high.

I have done SVFR into ksm, but I will only do it from one direction. Honestly I think this crash did more good for the safety culture in Western Alaska than one could imagine.
Meant AGL. And true, too bad it has to happen that way sometimes.
 

Itchy

Well-Known Member
Why VFR? I know it is regulatory, with passengers I guess. Seems to me if it was an IFR flight, might be alive.
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
Why VFR? I know it is regulatory, with passengers I guess. Seems to me if it was an IFR flight, might be alive.
Hageland and many other operators are approved for IFR single pilot with pax in the Caravan. Whether that aircraft and or pilot had something preventing them from going IFR I don't know.
As to whether being IFR would have prevented the accident, maybe, but I'd guess by that point the airplane was being flown as if it were IFR and possibly even had the approach up. Would that being on an IFR clearance have made him remember to get on the right frequency for PCL? Maybe, but it's such a small slip that there's no guarantee one way or the other. Would flying the IFR missed when he didn't see the runway because the lights were off have kept him from crashing? Certainly, provided whatever distraction or mistake that caused the aircraft to enter the final unusual attitude and impact terrain wasn't repeated while performing the IFR missed. One thing for sure is that having the TAWS yell might have been enough to save the aircraft when it entered what sounds like a classic nose low, banked unusual attitude (with the 800+ FPM descent referenced in the report).
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
300 over is ksm is 600 over everywhere else, as the airport sits so high.

I have done SVFR into ksm, but I will only do it from one direction. Honestly I think this crash did more good for the safety culture in Western Alaska than one could imagine.
It is, of course, a very biased view, but in the contact I've had with the Hagey management they seem to be universally VERY technically competent and safety-oriented. I suspect that there was a lot happening out in the wild Wild West of Bethel that wasn't really in accordance with company policy. Whether the upper management knew all along and just looked the other way because they got the job done, or whether they didn't know/didn't have sufficient operational control due to how spread out their operations are, I can't even begin to speculate.
 

Murdoughnut

Well sized member
25k hours and cue up the wrong frequency. Just goes to show you that experience can only do so much, particularly in the exhausting circumstances is sounds like he was under.
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
25k hours and cue up the wrong frequency. Just goes to show you that experience can only do so much, particularly in the exhausting circumstances is sounds like he was under.
Not even that, had it cued up but never hit the flip flop. Though on some radios I've had flip flops that were wonky and would do a double flip flop leaving you at the same frequency you started with.
 

BajtheJino

I'm looking at you.
I've heard and read a bit about this accident. I've made the same mistakes this person made...but for the life of me I can't figure out why, when this guy was already out there bootleggin around, why take the time to ask for a SVFR that wasn't valid and why, when he knew the weather sucked, didn't he just plug in the approach and hope that he saw the runway in the flair? I dunno.
Also, I gotta think age played a part in this. A 14 hr duty day is brutal enough for me and I'm in my prime. How many triple mailers did he hump that day, how many tons of spam (dare I ask how many toothbrushes?).
 

dustoff17

Well-Known Member
There are so many links in this chain that just don't add up to me. I'm sure the extra 300+ pounds of weight and loss of lift didn't help with the low altitude maneuvering.

Sad......
 

KKochan

Well-Known Member
This stuff still goes on out there. If you're going to be so stupid, at least make sure you're only taking chips and soda with you.

Flight risk forms, dispatch weather, etc. It all boils down to you being the PIC. You are responsible for the safety of that flight once you decide to depart.
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
There are so many links in this chain that just don't add up to me. I'm sure the extra 300+ pounds of weight and loss of lift didn't help with the low altitude maneuvering.

Sad......
Wha? Did I miss something about the aircraft being overweight? Even so I kind of doubt that was significant.
I've heard and read a bit about this accident. I've made the same mistakes this person made...but for the life of me I can't figure out why, when this guy was already out there bootleggin around, why take the time to ask for a SVFR that wasn't valid and why, when he knew the weather sucked, didn't he just plug in the approach and hope that he saw the runway in the flair? I dunno.
Also, I gotta think age played a part in this. A 14 hr duty day is brutal enough for me and I'm in my prime. How many triple mailers did he hump that day, how many tons of spam (dare I ask how many toothbrushes?).
Where did you get that the SVFR was invalid? All you need is 1 mile and pilot stays clear of clouds, they were calling 3 IIRC.
Age is certainly something I thought about as well. There is a possibly significant trend with the fatal 135 accidents here over the past few years of older pilots being involved, though in the cases I'm thinking of they were relatively low time career changers not experienced aviators.
 
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